Registering Your Baby in China

This article first appeared on Deltabridges.com and is published with permission from the author.

If you just had or plan to have a baby born in China, here is some very useful information you should be aware of.

When you decided to have a nice birthing experience in China, what you may not have known that there is a law according to which all babies born to foreign parents in China must be registered according to the following procedure within 1 month of birth. It is not about getting your baby a birth certificate, a passport or even a China visa, it is about BIRTH REGISTRATION.

The following information should not be dismissed and we hope you carefully study it and follow the procedure precisely.

This is how it is done:

  1. Get the birth certificate as soon as possible after birth. As exciting and busy your life is overseas with a newborn, this should be on the list of your top priorities.
  2. While you are waiting for the baby’s passport, register your baby at the local police station that your residential area belongs to. Take with you the following documents:
    • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate/passport (latter is for those whose Embassy’s can issue passports before the baby is 1 month old);
    • Original and copy of both parents’ passports. (First page with a picture and information and the visa page should be copied onto the same piece of paper, next to each other);
    • Originals of both parents’ police registrations;
    • 1 passport size picture of the baby;
    • Copy of your housing contract;
    • Note: THE POLICE STATION MIGHT BE NOT AWARE OF THIS LAW. Insist on your rights and quote Chapter 3, article 26 of the law regarding the residence of foreign citizens residing in China.
  3. This step is for those who are not able to get baby’s passport before baby turns 1 month. Dismiss it and read further down if you were able to get it before the baby turned 1 month:
    • After you get the police registration, go to the Immigration Bureau with the following documents to process the visa:
    • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate;
    • Original and copy of both parents passports. (First page with a picture and information and the visa page should be copied onto the same piece of paper, next to each other);
    • Originals and copies of both parents’ police registrations;
    • 1 passport size picture of the baby (take more than 1 just in case);
    • Bar Code receipt for the pictures. (It’s best if you prepare these ahead of time as the Immigration Bureau overcharges to do it onsite. Instead make in at your local photo salon, it should cost you between 30 and 38 yuan for 8 pictures and 1 bar code receipt. This receipt is valid for 6 months since receiving it, so you don’t need to make a new one for visa application).

When you get the passport, immediately register your baby at the police station (bring the same documents to your local PSB plus baby’s passport and a copy of the information page). Then apply for the visa – the visa application should take place within 3 months from baby’s birth (i.e. if your baby is born on June 12th, the visa should be obtained before September 12th).

If either parent is officially employed in China, the baby is entitled to a family visa (in application form you should tick residence visa part where it says family member of a working alien).

If both parents are on L visa, here you need to double check what visa your child should get depending on what the current regulations for L visa are: you may have to either get an exit visa, take your child to HK and get an entry visa there; or they might just give you a L visa as a visiting family member.

Here is the list of documents you need to apply for the dependent’s visa:

  • Application form (you can get it at the Immigration Bureau, 2nd floor)
  • A LETTER FROM A PARENT’S COMPANY in Chinese stating the following: “This is to verify that So-and-So (full name as in the passport), passport number, is indeed employed in this company and is applying for a dependent’s visa for his child: So-and-So (baby’s name as in the passport), passport number. Signature and official company stamp.”
  • Original and copy of baby’s birth certificate;
  • Original and copy of baby’s passport (information page);
  • Original and copy of both parents passports: first page with a photo and your information, current visa page and the page where your last entry stamp is;
  • Originals and copies of both parents’ police registrations;
  • Original and copy of baby’s police registration;
  • 1 passport size picture of the baby (take more than 1 just in case);
  • Bar Code receipt for the pictures. (It’s best if you prepare these ahead of time as the Immigration Bureau overcharges to do it onsite. Instead make in at your local photo salon, it should cost you between 30 and 38 yuan for 8 pictures and 1 bar code receipt. This receipt is valid for 6 months since receiving it, so you don’t need to make a new one for visa application).

You may not get this information from anywhere else (Google if you wish to prove us wrong.) but you WILL be fined if you fail to follow this procedure. In case of you being fined, your name and your baby’s name and passports information will be “blacklisted” in the system and it is possible you may face some troubles getting and processing Chinese visa next time.

For the exact law quotation please go to this website:
http://www.china.org.cn/english/LivinginChina/184914.htm

Note: This has been compiled based on a recent experience of few expat parents. We did a lot of running and calling around. We hope that you have a less stressful process after reading and saving this article.


Varya Sanina-Garmroud

Varya is a contributor to havingababyinchina.com. She is originally from Russia and has been living in China for over a decade. She is a Mom of 3 children, a linguist, an early education expert, baby massage and perinatal fitness trainer, breastfeeding and lactation specialist. She blogs at creativeworldofvarya.com about craft, parenting, cooking, moral education and multiculturalism.

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2 comments on “Registering Your Baby in China
  1. suman ghosh says:

    You have to apply Baby’s Permit within 2 months of baby’s birth. Please confirm this at your local PSB Exit entry office.

  2. Mary says:

    How does one apply for a baby’s permit that has to be before the baby is two week?

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